How to Make an Oyster Shell Wreath

People ask me all the time how I made the oyster shell light fixture in my bathroom, or what to do with the left over oyster shells after a roast. I’m always coming up with new ideas for what to do with them, because I think they are so beautiful and cannot bare throwing them away. In this blog, I’ll show you in 3 easy steps how to make a pretty oyster shell wreath with your left over shells.

What You Need:

Shells that are clean and dry

Cordless drill

Small drill bit

Florist wire, 26 gauge

Wire wreath frame, any size

Step 1: Prepare the Shells

After your roast, gather the shells in large 5 gallon paint buckets. Pour a mixture of half water and half bleach into the buckets and let them soak for a long, long time. (I usually let mine soak for about 3 months) You will need to change the bleach/water solution periodically until there is no more smell and the shells are very clean. Next, simply lay them out in full sun until completely dry.

Step 2: Drill the Holes

Using a small drill bit, create two holes in each shell. Drill one hole at the top and one at the bottom of each shell. Once you have a decent pile of shells to work with you can start working on the wreath. It’s helpful to have a partner to drill the holes while you work.

Step 3: Fasten Shells to Wreath Frame

Position the first shell where you want it on the wreath frame. Cut a piece of florist wire about three inches in length and thread through one of the holes. Secure the wire to the back of the wreath frame by twisting the two ends together tightly. Cut off any excess wire from the back.

Repeat this step for the second hole to secure the entire oyster shell to the wreath. Repeat, repeat, and repeat until all of your shells cover the wreath frame. Fill in any bare spots with more oyster shells and layer if you want a fuller look. When finished, you should not see any of the wire frame from the front of the wreath.

Enjoying Your Wreath

If the wreath is going to be hanging in a low, visible spot where the florist wire can be seen, you might need to run a little spray paint over it to hide this. Sometimes I like to stain the shells once everything is finished, depending on where I’m hanging it. The shells take stain really well and the color options are endless.

The wreath will be very heavy, which is why hot glue is not a good long-term solution for making these wreaths. The wire will hold up very well, even outdoors.

Still Have Leftover Shells?

If you still have left over shells after making your wreath, think about using them for Christmas tree ornaments as they already have the holes drilled for the wire. See my blog from December 2018, entitled Repurposing Oyster Shells for more ideas on what to do with them inside and outside your home. I’d love to see your pictures when you are finished! Send me an email of what you did!

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